Tuesday, November 12, 2013

E Pluribus Verbi

Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but how many authors are too many when collaborating to write an article?  To explore this quandry, my colleagues, Bill Tomlinson (University of California, Irvine), Joel Ross (University of Puget Sound), Paul Andre (Carnegie Mellon University), Eric P. S. Baumer (Cornell University), Donald J. Patterson (University of California, Irvine), Joseph Corneli (Independent), Martin Mahaux (Independent), Syavash Nobarany (University of British Columbia), Nithya Sambasivan (Independent), Marco Lazzari (University of Bergamo), Birgit Penzenstadler (Technische Universität München), David J. Callele (Independent), Gary M Olson (University of California, Irvine), M. Six Silberman (Independent), Marcus Ständer (Darmstadt University of Technology), Fabio Romancini Palamedi (Independent), Albert Ali Salah (Boğaziçi University), Eric Morrill (Independent), Xavier Franch (University of Puget Sound), Florian 'Floyd' Mueller (Independent), Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye (Independent), Rebecca W. Black (University of California, Irvine), Marisa L. Cohn (University of California, Irvine), Patrick C. Shih (University of California, Irvine), Johanna Brewer (Independent), Nitesh Yashbir Goyal (Independent), Pirjo Näkki (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), Jeff Huang (Independent), Nilufar Baghaei (Independent), and Craig Saper (The Hilltop Institute at UMBC), and I collaboratively coauthored an article entitled "Massively Distributed Authorship of Academic Papers" that was published on February 17, 2013, in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012) Extended Abstracts (alt.chi)Here is the abstract:
Wiki-like or crowdsourcing models of collaboration can provide a number of benefits to academic work. These techniques may engage expertise from different disciplines, and potentially increase productivity. This paper presents a model of massively distributed collaborative authorship of academic papers. This model, developed by a collective of 31 authors, identifies key tools and techniques that would be necessary or useful to the writing process. The process of collaboratively writing this paper was used to discover, negotiate, and document issues in massively authored scholarship. Our work provides the first extensive discussion of the experiential aspects of large-scale collaborative research.
Our full article is available for free download on SSRN.  Thank you very much to all of my talented and cooperative coauthors who made this experiment in collaborative writing a pleasure.  Bill Tomlinson deserves massive and special praise for deftly coordinating the creation of the article.

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